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Singapore launches consultations on new consumer privacy law

(Xinhua)

13:13, September 14, 2011

SINGAPORE, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Singapore will have a new consumer privacy law starting from next year that will protect the data of consumers in an age of information explosion.

The new legal framework may allow consumers to "do something" about unwelcome calls and text messages, local daily Straits Times reported on Wednesday.

Singapore currently has no overarching consumer privacy law but only specific regulations requiring the protection of consumer information in banking, telecommunications and healthcare.

Under the proposed framework going into public consultations on Tuesday, all telemarketers will have to check against names in a " Do Not Call" registry that allows consumers to opt out of all unsolicited calls or text messages.

If an individual puts his name on the registry and still receives an unsolicited call, he can make a complaint to a new Data Protection Commission.

The commission will be given the power to investigate such complaints and fine offending parties. The maximum fine will be a hefty 1 million Singapore dollars (813,008 U.S. dollars). It is not clear, however, if a service provider like a bank can still call its customers for telemarketing purposes if they put their names on the registry.

The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts said such issues will be addressed in a second round of consultations.

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